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Epona's Wild Daughter paid me a visit...

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Awesome, wonderfully provacative thoughts, Helvetica.

In your talk of sacrifice I am thinking of The Hanged Man in tarot. His sacrifice is one that leads him to greater awareness and enlightenment for himself primarily but also for others. His is a symbolic death, he is after all hanged, but he does not die. Still, a sacrifice does mean something or some part of us must die in order for the revelation to come. In The Hanged Man, the sacrifice is himself, his perspective, his usual way of seeing things, physical discomfort, waiting, being thought a laughingstock (therefore his pride), etc.

It is my understanding of Epona's Wild Daughter that she comes to us at night to present to us things we need to understand within ourselves, so I think you're right to presume this dream is about you and not directly about your friend.

~Mercy
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This is quite synchronous (is that a word?), Mercy Me! I did a tarot reading to ask about this dream - I might post it tomorrow in the My Readings, if I have a moment. I used the Gothic Tarot of the Vampires, which seemed a suitable choice for a nightmare involving bloody suicide - and Epona's Wild Daughter!

The card that came up for "what is the meaning of this dream?" was XII - the Hanged Man - and it is indeed bloody and self-sacrificial! It shows a vampire shackled upside down (his back is on the floor, his legs against a wall). Very uncomfortable, indeed! He is covered in blood - the blood of those he has been feeding off, no doubt - but just behind his head, within his sight but not within reach, is a spilt cup of blood. He stares at it, in torment. There are many elements to this card, but the main ones that you mentioned - self-sacrifice, reversal of perspective, something needing to die in order for regeneration to happen - are the ones most pertinent to my nightmare, I think. In this deck, too, there is an element of the Vampires seeking redemption - therefore the Undead needing to consent to willing sacrifice in order to die and therefore be redeemed. Not sure how to tie that one in, but the morning might bring wisdom!

Traditionally, when sacrificing an animal, one gathered its blood in a cup. And in the olden days (not so long ago!) doctors used to perform "cuppings" - that is, bloodlettings to relieve pressure. But in the tarot, cups also mean love and the spirit.

The reading as a whole highlighted the mytho-religious aspects of the dream. I placed the reading under the guidance of Epona's Wild Daughter - since this is her nightmare.
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In Judaism, the blood sacrifice was based on the belief that the life force was contained in the blood. It was the basis for much of the dietary restrictions in Leviticus in that they were forbidden to eat any flesh with the blood still in it, hence the kosher and hallal methods of bloodletting during slaughter of animals for food. (Lev 17:11 NKJV) "'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'" Ingesting the blood of an animal was forbidden way back in Genesis and this was given as the reason --(Gen 9:5 NKJV) "Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man."

However, in the New Testament, Jesus places a culminating spin on this when he said, (John 6:53 NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." The symbolic drinking of blood of the Eucharist gives life to the believer. And you can imagine how repulsive this was to the Jewish believer who had been raised to believe blood was taboo because of it's life essence, and here this guy was instructing them to go against that taboo, though not in a literal sense, but still, ritually, spiritually...I'm sure they wondered if he had got it all wrong.

So this blood-letting stuff was and is serious, serious business to many faithful people and it seems to be connected with the idea of the life essence. Therefore, the self-sacrifice of suicide, especially by blood-letting, is significant, I think, as a tremendously symbolic act which releases one's life essence. As you mentioned in a precious post, there have been suicides that have been committed as a sacrificial act for the benefit of others. One might put Jesus' crucifixion, in fact, in that category.

The questions would be, to what benefit would be the pouring out of one's life-essence? Who would drink that cup? To whom or what would you be giving your life essence? For what purpose? For what other life to be birthed or generated?

All those questions -- I think maybe I'm channeling Epona's Wild Daughter!

~Mercy
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Bloody Blood


I have found this thread fascinating. From a personal perpective I know alot about the Diaspora( I know this word relates to Jewish people, but couldn't think of another) of the Celtic people. I am along with my family are a part of a big epidemiology regarding a condition traditionally called 'The Celtic Curse' or 'Bronze Diabetes' -Haemachromatosis. Its control is helped by bloodletting, formerly leeching, before that 'cupping the blood' It is a genetic disorder, of pure Celtic Stock.(sounds very eleteist- the Aryan concepts -yuck)Through this study my particular family both paternal and maternal have been traced back to 1570 and then it gets murky. If any of my forebears had had the good sense to bring in 'new Blood' from their adopted countrys I would be free of this curse. The amount of Iron in our blood is the condition and , you have sent me on a quest now to see if there is any relationship with the myths, legends and tales. As I said earlier- I have very little knowledge of this area.
One Doctor once told me that the Celtic traits were fascinating as the permeation of music, prose, love of Education,freedom, merchant (selling of salt from Switzerland) attiudes,love of travel and adventure was apparent now worldwide (colonisation). He was not of course saying that was Celtic exclusivity by any means. You can see the influence here in New Zealand- along with the Dourness and easlily burnt skin . Love the thread by the way. ~Rosanne
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The Faery Godmother as protector and guide through Dorcha's wild dreams


Interesting observations about the Celtic Curse and its control by...bloodletting, Rosanne! I have just remembered, too, that my friend (who committed suicide by slitting his arteries in my nightmare) is of wholly Irish origin, though he was born and brought up in Yorkshire. He is typically Celtic-looking with dark hair and blue-grey eyes. His wife, on the other hand, who takes their baby and leaveshim in my dream, provoking his bloody suicide, is a beautiful typically anglo-saxon blonde. So this dream gets more intriguing still! I really don't know how to tie the Celtic element in - and the mixed element. I am of *such* mixed origin myself, including a strong celtic streak, that I don't know how to separate what is my friend's and what is mine, though I am sure the dream is primarily about me - I hope so at least.

Rosanne - can you tell me more about this Celtic Curse? maybe by PM if you don't want to do it on the thread?

Because I didn't want to go to bed two nights ago with this image of blood and suicide - followed by all these discussions! - I asked for a faery to help me follow Epona's Wild Daughter where she wanted me to go, while keeping me from becoming obsessive (blood has that effect)...And, no suprise, I received the Faery Godmother .

I placed her next to Dorcha, Epona's daughter, and was struck by the likeness and the subtle links between the two cards. Have you noticed them?

The first thing I saw was the owl in both cards. Very large in Epona's Wild Daughter, smaller but no less visible in the Faery Godmother. If I read from Miranda Green's "Symbol & Images in Celtic Religious Art" (a book I recommend - probably the most complete book in English on the subject), I read that birds in general were very often represented in Celtic art, though owls seem to have been a Roman borrowing. Owls I have always associated with Minerva/Athena: they bring clear sight, wisdom, and provide a link to the otherworld through their nocturnal habits. Minerva/Athena was Ulysses protectress during his long adventures, and adored his wiliness, which was an echo of her own: she got him through some dark times and brought him safely home. One might say that the Faery Godmother is also an avatar of Minerva...

Next link is the crown of stars - both faeries wear one. The book tells us it is a mark of service, compassion, great wisdom. Of course, when operating a sacrifice, compassion and great wisdom are needed. Now the crown of stars is most commonly associated with imagery of Mary as Queen of Heaven, but I don't know where this symbol comes from, or if it is originally Christian (Rosanne?). In any case, the idea of compassion and hope in the otherworld is very much associated with Mary. I had not thought to see the crown of stars worn by a faery who takes us through nightmares and dark nights of the soul - and yet that is precisely when we most need compassion and hope!

For some imagery of the Crown of Stars, as well as the next image, the crescent moon, have a look at: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/math5...10/unit10.html

The moon is also a common theme: the crescent moon on the Faery Godmother's forehead (the crescent moon is another reminder of Mary, btw) -and the moonlight bathing Dorcha. Moon symbolism was associated with mother goddesses and with virgin goddesses in both Celtic and Roman mythology (and their synchretism) - and also, more interestingly in this context - with goddesses that had the key to the otherworld (often the same as fertlity goddesses). The Moon is a feminine symbol the world round because of its cyclical nature: and feminine cycles and childbirth, of course, bring us back to blood - and my nightmare. Am I birthing something? Mothers know that a birth is a joy but also a sacrifice (and the monthly periods are certainly a form of sacrifice!!). The moon - via Diana, the Roman moon goddess - was associated with the hunt; this is certainly one aspect that the Celts either adopted or already had: according to Miranda Green, the divine hunt is a promise of rebirth and resurrection. And the hunt too, brings us back to bloodletting... Am I hunting something - or is something hunting me? I am finding the association between blood letting and renewal quite troubling.

Another element that joins the two cards is the apple the Faery Godmother holds: Epona's worshippers would often bring her a basket of apples - and eventually feed them to Epona's protégés - the horses (everyone who has spent time with horses will know how much they appreciate apples!). Apples were VERY important in the Celtic world-view - a symbol of science, magic and revelation as well as healing food. Avallon means the island of apples, and it is there that Arthur found refuge, and was able to heal. Its climate is temperate, its inhabitants joyful, its food regenerating. Therefore the apple that the Faery Godmother seems to be handing to me will be my gift to Epona's Wild Daughter - but also a magic apple to allow me to see clearly, discover is hidden and come through this exploration safely and regenerated. The "revelation" and vision motif is repeated in the crystal ball the Faery Godmother holds in the other hand.

The Faery godmother also has birch branches in her crown. The birch is a North-East European symbol of youth and beginnings: this is a sign for me that my dream announces the launch of something new in my life - for which I msut make sacrifices (well, I know that, duh!). The birch recalls the moon, because of its colour, so reminds us again of Dorcha's moonlit body and the crescent moon on the Faery Godmother's forehead. But the birch symbolism is much deeper. It is particualarly revered by Siberian populations where it symbolises the rod of life and is the tree up which the shaman's soul moves to reach the astral planes. The Celts, on the other hand, seemed to have associated the birch with death - and in a common reversal, to renewal of life as well (no doubt because of the cyclical nature of life and death). In a Gaulish text, the birch is described as the transformer - which prepares the dead for their new life. This I find particularly relevant in the context of my dream - going under, re-emerging. But another aspect of the birch relates to its use in punishment - birching - which was done until blood appeared (again!). Yet another one that I am using in exploring my nightmare is the ancient Roman use of birch branches as torches - a light to guide me! (Something like the Hermit's lantern).

The faery Godmother has intrigued me for a while already. She is a gift, a grace - and her appearance in fairytales is always beneficient, but also announces a trial. She appears only to women. Here, in this card, she is wearing finely wrought armour: at least on her arms, and we can imagine that she is wearing a chestplate and leg armour under her drapery. The armour also reminds me of the hunt. She is protective, therefore, as well as - to my mind - a huntress: active and focussed - so I can't think of a better faery to have on my side while I explore the realms of Epona's Wild Daughter. I slept with her under my pillow that night!
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Helvetica's stormy ride


I will PM you about the 'Celtic Curse'. I have no problem on the boards but it could be a bit bloody boring for others neh? As to the Queen of Heaven.. borrowed symbology not Christian.. I have a book somewhere and I will search that out. I think it is Isis with Pleiades around her head...I will find out for sure. As to your Nightmare- I too think you have a choice welling up within you. Maybe part of it is your feeling like the Sacrificial Lamb to the employment youre leaving? You seem to me to have a yearning to go back somewhere where your spiritual essence lies..Africa? May the Faery Godmother keep you protected in your nights. ~Rosanne
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Helvetica, keep searching -- don't stop with Judeo-Christian mythology. Those symbols go way further back, all the way to the Dravidic peoples of India who eventually spread out up through Europe, taking with them the roots of the Celtic language, among many others. Some books to help you in your search include:
  • Celtic Myths & Legends, by Peter Berresford Ellis
  • The White Goddess, by Robert Graves
  • The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, by Joseph Campbell
  • The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, by Joseph Campbell
  • Gods of Love & Ecstasy, The Traditions of Shiva & Dionysus, by Alain Danielou
  • The Story of Civilization, Part IV: The Age of Faith, by Will Durant


Kim
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Thanks Rosanne.

In my mind I have already left my job (5 more days, yeay!) - so I don't think it is that. I think it is much more profound. I might go back to Africa one day - no, not "might" - surely I will go - but I think much of the exploration must be done quietly, in writing - "emotion recollected in tranquillity" as Wordsworth put it. But you have put your finger on something very important there. My experience of Africa was a bloody one - in Rwanda, Congo and Zimbabwe's rural areas where poor black farmers were beaten and tortured if they supported anyone else but the ruling party; as well as being an initiatory and eye-opening experience for me and a lesson in civilisation (oddly, given the bloody aspects). There it is people being sacrificed on a mass scale, for political reasons, but there seems to be some deeper, more primeval human urges pushing people towards such blood-letting.

Iraq too. So much blood! I am fascinated (hopefully not too morbidly so!) by some insurgent groups' use of the knife to perform their human sacrifices...

I need to explore this more deeply. It has had a very strong effect on me - and has only recently - now that I have left the warzones - started to emerge.

This dream might be linked to that? Either way, Epona's Wild Daughter wants me to look at something inside - but also outside. I notice also that she faces left, which traditionally means the inenr realm, or the past (or both). It is the "feminine" side too - the same direction that La Papesse faces...who was my card of today, and my Tarot soul card.

The wildness of Dorcha is intriguing me too - this is no gentle trot she is leading me on. Is she taboo-breaking?
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Thanks for all those links, Kim! Very precious. I wasn't "stopping there" - but I could not find any other references to the Crown of Stars apart from Mary. I'mwaiting upon Rosanne to enlighten me . But as you can see I have also been diggin in Celtic myths - Miranda Green is a good resource. I also have some French books - French scholars have done some remarkable work on the Celts in general and the Gauls in particular. Very strong on Epona

The White Goddess - it's a while since I glanced at it - good idea. I am finding more and more, through study of myth, the common Indo-European "bowl" where many of them are mixed, or birthed - including Celtic and Graeco-Roman.

I was reading about Siberian customs while exploring birch symbolism. Siberian shamans are said to be very powerful - it's interesting to read how their souls use the birch as a rod to enter the otherworld and travel astrally. I am getting curious there too...

Who are the Siberians?

I remember, after I returned to Iraq, reading some Sumerian and Babylonian myths, and going to visit the Mesopotamian rooms at Le Louvre - a treasure-trove! So many Biblical stories are Babylonian in origin, it's quite fascinating. But much of this ancient knowledge has been lost or deliberately suppressed by Islam.
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Smile Hi Helvetica ... Hi All ...


Oh my goodness, I feel way out of my depth on this thread. It has been absolutely marvelous to read, it leaves me a bit breathless.

I wanted to add to this thread because I a dream in which I also witnessed a suicide three nights ago. I have never had a dream like this before in my life! I awoke feeling shattered and disturbed, mildly panicked and fearful for the person I had dreamt about. I wasn't a nightmare as such. It just left me feeling horrible!
I will describe what happened, It is only a piece of the entire dream: An ex partner (who is still a good friend and who I have a relationship of sorts with) was in a dingy room - there was no furniture or lighting, only daylight which shone through an open door from another room. The carpet was filthy, and there were cushions scattered on the floor.
In the room, my partner was committing suicide by slicing his wrists. He sliced himself to death with a knife! I was standing near the doorway when it happened, he was in the room. His white teeshirt had a rip in it, and he was covered in blood trails from his head to his feet. There was blood every where. He sat slouched against the wall and the blood ran in veins along the wall.
I stood in the ajoining room. I remeber in my dream, not believing he had done this. I asked another person twice or more about it. I recollect saying that this couldn't be him. But it was. I was dazed and confused. People walked around the room and out of the house while this happened. I was left so bewildered trying to deal with the situation. End of dream.

It was so shocking to me! I awoke myself and got out of bed. I haven't since been able to shake the sensations that this dream left me with. I have seen him (the person in my dreams) in the last couple of days and although he has had a series of very hard trials in his life - and they are still with him - he seemed as usual.

This is when I brought this dream back to me, and how it concerns me - it made me think: what is its relevance and what is it trying to show me?

After reading the posts in this thread I think I would be willing to explore this a little further. I found many similarities on what you had posted Helvetica, so I am going to look at it closer.
There is a coincidence - if you can call it that - and that is the feeling that there is something that I am going to have to attend to. I feel this has to do with a 'job' of some kind. This is not in the sense of a paying job, but something to do with life or karma. I feel like Im waiting for my 'instructions' or 'orders' to come through. I have been assigned to do something - a life assignment - Im not sure what I'll be 'told' to do. It feels like it is something that I have to fulfill that I may not like.

I am going to pull up a card on this and see what it reveals. I havent been able to approach it clearly until reading this thread. My dream dictionary was no help as you might imagine.(LOL) This thread has been alot more useful!

I will post back after the draw with any new revelations - any more input would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings
Elven x
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